Wednesday, April 01, 2009

New Series...Things I wish I knew then....

Ok, so all these other blogs I read have series that they do. And I'm totally addicted. If I happen to be on twitter for the 1,000th time that day seeing if MckMama has posted something new, and I see they have a new post in their series, especially the Happy Housewife's meeting her husband series, I stop EVERYTHING and go read. Or if MckMama posts new how to use your camera/edit pictures post, I love them.

And recently, I've had lots of questions (in real life and via email/blog/twitter, etc) about budgeting, cloth diapering, saving money, couponing, etc. I am by NO means an expert, or perfect when it comes to our budget. Just ask our emergency fund! But I do love and follow Dave Ramsey's 7 baby steps. I think it's an easy plan to follow, and I LOVE getting people started on their journey. I also wish I had read that book back in high school or college. I always say, if only I knew then what I know now. So, that's my new series. As I remember things, I will post them on my blog, hoping someone out there misses some pitfalls that we fell into, such as....

It's never worth it to buy a $6,000 water softener system unless you have the cash specifically set aside for it. (right mere!)

It's OK (and awesome) to buy a used car for CASH and drive it till it dies.

I wish I had known when we purchased our first house about 15 year flat rate mortgages. I also wish we had waited until we could AFFORD one to buy our 1st house (and am glad we are getting one on our current house).

You do not have to spend over $150 a week on groceries to get by, especially PRE-kids. You can (as I have done each month this year so far) totally skip a week of grocery shopping and live out of your pantry (if you buy things when they are cheapest and stock up).

Handmade cards are cool and cheap. You don't have to have a $3 card on every gift. And they don't have to be fancy to be appreciated.

Of course I wish I'd known how EASY cloth diapers were before I had Cara.

Oh and how I wish I'd known about baby wearing and slings and rings and wraps before Cara.

To be obedient is to tithe 10%. If you have never done it, start now! The minute we became 'gazelle intense' in our budget, and starting tithing 10% each month for the first time in our lives, we couldn't believe how every month we were able to do that AND pay down debt. We paid off $22,000 in 2.5 months! Yes, we sold 2 cars and bought beaters, but through all of that, we were obedient to God and he blessed us more than we could imagine.

If you ever think you may have kids one day--next year or next decade--try to live on one income. Throw the rest into savings (after all your debt is gone). Even if you think in a million years there's no way you'd want or be able to stay home with the kids. Promise, a baby does truly change everything! If you end up not wanting or being able to stay home, look how far ahead you are financially!

Love God, Love People and Equip the Generations! That's our church's motto and a pretty sweet thing to try to live by in my opinion.


Julie said...

I'm slowly becoming a complete blogaholic! We're doing Dave Ramsey's 7 steps is so liberating! Though we're only on the debt snowball...but one more payment and the car is paid off...a whole year early! I'm learning a lot from you, Misty, thanks!


Valerie Cesari said...

Thanks for these Misty! I love all your posts! I like the idea of trying to live off one income! Now that we have our credit cards paid off I need to figure out a game plan. Keep the "wish I would have know" posts coming. They are really helpful.

Oh also I signed up for the ING - how do we know we both got the credit?

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